Beautiful! Carole King stops the show
NEW YORK — Anything can happen in live theater, and audience members seeing “Beautiful,” the life story of Carole King, got a surprise when King appeared in the role of herself to celebrate the show’s fifth anniversary on Broadway.
The packed house at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre erupted into thunderous cheers and applause as King appeared Saturday night, sitting at a baby grand piano and showing all the love in her heart as she sang “Beautiful,” the final song.
“It’s kind of miraculous that this show has lasted for five years because not many do. And it’s a testament to, I think, people say the music . . . but the book is so good and the direction and the lighting and the sets. It’s really a well put together production,” King said in an interview with The Associated Press after the show.
She has sung onstage during curtain calls during the show’s long run but has never appeared in the show itself.
In the show’s final scene — set during her famous 1971 Carnegie Hall concert — the 76-year-old King played a much younger version of herself as she took over for Chilina Kennedy.
King and the cast then performed the show’s encore number, “I Feel the Earth Move,” at the curtain call as the audience danced and clapped along.
“Beautiful” opened on Broadway on Jan. 13, 2014, and won the 2014 Tony Award for best actress in a musical for Jessie Mueller; the 2015 Grammy Award for best musical theater album; and two 2015 Olivier Awards, Britain’s version of the Tonys.